If you had asked me a week ago if I thought the world was getting worse, I probably would’ve replied with a simple, “Yes.”
I mean, take a look around. We’re surrounded by rampant gun violence, blatant racism, and enough religious and political animosity to tear a nation in two.
But what if all of this depressing evidence is actually evidence of something else? What if the world isn’t getting worse as much as it’s just becoming increasingly aware of what’s still wrong? What if the pains we feel as a nation are actually a wakeup call to those still hurting? What if right now is the perfect time to choose a different way forward for our children’s children?
I was on a run the other day when this thought came. I couldn’t help but notice the autumn-soaked trees surrounding me. Everything around me seemed to be changing right before my eyes. The deep red and orange leaves were practically screaming for my attention. Other trees, nearly bare, were already in waiting for their spring resurrection.
All of this “changing” seemed fitting for where we stand today as a nation. Our nation — and its culture, its politics, its churches — they’re all changing.
Is the change good? Bad? Somewhere in between?
I think we get to choose… and I think it depends on where you look… and I think we even get to be a part of the answer.
The world is changing, but where it’s headed is up to us. Despite what social media and CNN, FOX News, and CBS may be saying — it won’t be decided by a political party or even a president. It still comes down to the people we choose to be and the way we decide to love.
I’m not ready to give up on us yet. This year, I’ve seen millions rally around the hurricane victims along the East Coast. I’ve seen our culture become more and more aware of systemic racism and prejudice. I’ve seen acts of humility, bravery, service, love, and forgiveness performed by everyday, ordinary people.
So, I’m changing my mind. I don’t think the world is getting worse, I just think it’s changing — and we get to choose what kind of change it will be.
Will we heed the warning signs all around us? Will we recognize the opportunity we have to make the world a better place for our kids and our kids’ kids?
I hope so. There’s a lot that’s wrong in our nation, and some things definitely need to change, but let’s not forget that the direction we choose is still in our hands.